I’m currently reading Knowing God by J.I. Packer. In the chapter, The Love Of God, the author formulates a biblical conception of God’s love:
God’s love is an exercise of his goodness toward individual sinners whereby, having identified himself with their welfare, he has given his Son to be their Savior, and now brings them to now and enjoy him in a covenant relation.
He then breaks that statement down to six points:
- God’s love is an exercise of his goodness.
- God’s love is an exercise of his goodness toward sinners,
- God’s love is an exercise of his goodness toward individual sinners.
- God’s love to sinners involves identifying himself with their welfare.
- God’s love to sinners was expressed by the gift of his Son to be their Savior.
- God’s love to sinners reaches its objective as it brings them to know and enjoy in covenant relation.
You really have to read the whole chapter, but this little morsel here is more than enough to keep your mind occupied. Here, the love of God is defined, and it is way bigger than the flimsy way we usually define the love of God. We like to define it in the way WE see love, but God is the one who truly defines what love is.
His love is TRULY amazing!
The end of the chapter has questions that we as believers would do well to meditate on:
- Why do I ever grumble and show discontent and resentment at the circumstances in which God has placed me?
- Why am I ever distrustful, fearful or depressed?
- Why do I ever allow myself to grow cool formal and half-hearted in the service of the God who loves me so?
- Why do I ever allow my loyalties to be divided, so that God has not my whole heart?
- John wrote that “God is love” in order to make an ethical point, “Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn 4:11). Could an observer learn from the quality and degree of love that I show to others – my wife? my husband? my family? my neighbors? people at church? people at work? – anything at all about the greatness of God’s love to me?
Wow. We’ve got a LOT to think about.